Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Break from the Action

So, the conclusion is that I'm not a nag.  I have no new photos.  So, I'll whine a bit and do some book reviews.

Full disclosure:  I can no longer continuously run a 5k.  Oh, the horror!  I let all the merry-making and joy cut into my running, and became a blob.  Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration.  I ran 2 miles of the 5k this morning (and walked the rest).  We are not talking apocalypse here, but we are talking that anyone who can give me a kick in the butt to get moving again would be greatly appreciated.  I have ran a total of 3 times since the wedding.  Oof.

Step 1:  Find motivation.

Step 2:  Stop hurting myself.

The run this morning was PAINFUL.  And not a little bit.  A whole, freakin lot.  In the past week, I ran into the dog crate when the lights were out and bruised my thigh, dropped a heavy-duty salt grinder onto my foot and bruised it, and just have my old hip war-injury.  Oh, did I never tell you about that?  My freshman year of college, some drunk guy picked up my friend and I in each of his arms (we both were pushing 100-lbs), and then fell over.  All 3 of us landed on my left hip.  I now have the old-lady ability to sense rain.

Step 3:  Stop whining.

What I DID manage to do on the honeymoon is read.  A lot.  It was wonderful.  I would find my patch of shade next to Chris's patch of sun, and lay on the beach, reading and napping.  Heaven on earth.  4 books to sum up:

   A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

Oh Gregory Maguire.  I usually REALLY love you.  Wicked set off a massive addiction and I've read pretty much everything you've written.  Some, yes, were better than others, but this book?  It took me over a year to get through.  I just was NOT feeling it.  There's nothing I can put my finger on.  The writing was fine, the plot seemingly had potential, but I just couldn't get into it.  Maybe I just don't share the cowardly lion's perspective?  Although I certainly relate to the idea of letting life happen to you rather than vice-versa.  I really wish I had enjoyed this more.

Grade: C  

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

I have a habit of assuming that if a book is on the best seller list, that it rots.  Typically once everyone starts raving, I've decided that I will never read it.  I am VERY glad that I made an exception.  This is a long book, but I flew through it.  It is a murder mystery of sorts, but has fascinating characters that are deeper than the typical gumshoe you run across.

There was a funny coincidence involved with this book.  My sister-in-law had forgotten to pack a book for while they were in Ohio.  Knowing I am an avid reader, she approached me and asked if there was any chance I had "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" with me, was not reading it, and if she could borrow it.  Ironically enough, the answer was yes.  What a long shot!

Grade:  A

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

HOOO boy.  This is a WEIRD book.  I was 100 pages in and was still telling Chris that I couldn't figure out what is was about.  However, right around that point, the two plot lines that had been alternating every other chapter began to converge.  And the book began to entrance me.  By the end, I was thoroughly enthralled, did not want the story to end, and generally loved it.  All that being said, I'm not sure that if I had picked it up during my daily life where I don't get to read a few hundred pages at a pop, I would have given it enough of a chance.  My recommendation is to stick it out.  It really does get good.

What is it about?  Hard to say without giving it away.  There's a data processor who goes on a job, and then starts having thugs coming after him, mental issues, and just thoroughly confusing events surrounding him left and right.  He has to figure out how to both internally and externally get his life in order.  Vague enough?

Grade:  B (because of the SLOW start)

The Likeness - Tana French

This was an airport purchase as I had run out of books.  And, oh!  What a find!  The only problem is that it is the 2nd book in a series.  Apparently, In the Woods is the first time you meet Cassie Maddox, the female detective that the story revolves around.  I fear that I may know a little too much about what happened from bits and pieces in this book to go back and read the 1st.  I may still try.  The Likeness was good enough to run that risk. 

The plot is not just improbable, but impossible.  But, if you don't mind, and can get past that, it's a fascinating story about identity.  A woman is found murdered who not only looks identical to Cassie, but is using one of her former aliases from when she worked undercover.  Obviously, Cassie decides to pick up where the dead woman left off.  Read it.

Grade: A

I've moved on to The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.  It may be painful.  I usually am not at all intrigued by war books.  Chris loved it, though, so I'm giving it a shot.

What are you reading?  Is it any good?


  1. I'll give ya a swift kick in the running department if you want :) you can start a new challenge on nike+ too! are you loading?

  2. Anyone who can run further than around the block impresses me.

    I had totally written off the Stieg Larson book because it's such a hit - I guess we think alike. Now I may just wander over the library and see if they have a copy!

  3. I'm reading books about baking bread. It's, okay, you know? It's making it very difficult for me to pick which recipes I want to start with!

    Anyway, if it makes you feel better, I haven't been able to continuously run a 5k in ages. Like. EVER.

  4. Thanks for the book suggestions- am flying home tomorrow and need something for the plane!